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serious info on umdnj-som

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by mdoclau, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. mdoclau

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    Ok the time has come and I must chose between umdnj and nova, I am going nuts. Please give me the pros of umdnj. I am leaning toward nova. Have to send the cash by the 30th
     
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  3. bravotwozero

    bravotwozero Chronically ambitious
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    You're not giving us enough info here.

    Consider the following factors:

    - Cost: Advantage UMDNJ by a landslide.

    - Location: Depends on if you have family around either school. That aside, advantage NSU.

    - Clinical education: Are you mostly interested in primary care, or are you looking to specialize? UMDNJ has its own teaching hospital (NSU is working on that), and a very impressive OPTI (residencies offered). NSU has a three month rural medicine rotation and empasizes primary care, though quite a few NSU grads have matched into competitive residency programs.

    - Faculty and general atmosphere: What were the general vibes you got from both schools, regarding the student environment, and how people felt about their school, type of faculty, etc. Do you have issues with things like dress code?, NSU has one while UMDNJ doesn't.
     
  4. DOnut

    DOnut Senior Member
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    If you are from NJ, then UMDNJ without even thinking about it. They do have an excellent teaching hospital. Impressive matches each year, and as stated above very good OPTI programs.

    Small class size is another advantage of UMDNJ. This is just my opinion, but if you are from NJ, then it's an easy choice to me. If you want sun and weather, do your residency in Florida after med school.

    DOnut
     
  5. flymusician

    flymusician Junior Member
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    I agree, you are not giving us enough info.

    And in all honesty, if you have to ask this question to complete strangers, I wonder how much you actually know about each individual school. But again, I may just be reading into it too much.
     
  6. Orthodoc40

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    UMDNJ does have a big financial advantage, but that is the main advantage they have, I think.
    Even then, from the look & sound of it, they budget so tightly that sometimes students are stretched to afford rent by the end of the year. Nova allows you to borrow more money (which you don't have to do) - so you may owe more in loans if you borrow the max they allow, but you might be less worried about paying the bills while you're in school. Something to think about when considering finances.

    Nova has that dress code thing.

    Both Nova & UMDNJ have a strong primary care emphasis, and the same amount of general elective time in your 4th year.

    Nova's match list is more impressive, but then, I don't know if that's very valuable to use as criteria.

    It would be nice to know more about why you're leaning toward Nova, and just generally what your priorities are about this decision!
     
  7. mdoclau

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    I am leaning more toward nova because of the atmosphere, I was very impressed with the dean and the students I met. Of course the weather and I liked the fact that there more students then umdnj and its not just med students there. The school itself seemed to have a more impressive well let's say everthing. I guess I am not sure about there matches and or residentecy programs. umdnj just seemed so small and in the middle of nowhere. I do want to specialize and it is alot cheaper,I do live in jersey. I am just so confused.
     
  8. Vix206

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    even though umdnj-som is my top choice (i'm on the waitlist), i was more impressed by nova's facilities and what they had to offer me. however, i wasn't a fan of the 3 month rural rotation (i'd rather rotate in an urban setting). location is a huge factor for me, and i'd prefer to stay in the ny/nj area. so if i do attend som, i know i will be receiving an excellent medical eduation.

    it's a tough choice b/c both are great schools. you just have to go with your gut, even if it will cost you more money.
     
  9. mdoclau

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    what is the deal with the 3 month rural rotation
     
  10. mdoclau

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    I am just asking for opionons isn't that what this is about?
     
  11. Kuba

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    yea, dont worry about them. ANyway, I am making a similar choice ( even though im still sitting on the waitlist at umdnj). Basically, its a very tough choice. Both schools are VERY different and have some great positives with few negatives. In the end you have to decide if you want a big/small school, how important is cost of attendance, climate, etc. its a very personal choice. I would say overall UMDNJ may be a slightly more solid medical school, but not enough so that it is the choice for everyone deciding between the two.
     
  12. mdoclau

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    So if you get in to umdnj, I guess you are going to pick that. I have decided that I am going to pay the deposit and go to the welcome students day on the 13th of april and then make my decision
     
  13. Vix206

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    from my impression, it's just what it says - a 3 month rotation in a rural environment. I believe 2 of those months are at a site that is chosen through a lottery system (so you have some degree of choice, but the lottery makes choosing fair), and the last month is at a rural site of your choice. don't quote me on the length of time at the lottery site or the site of your choice, but i think that's what i remember from when i was there in october.
     
  14. Kuba

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    the rural rotation can be done at any underserved location I believe, including inner-city miami
     
  15. mshheaddoc

    mshheaddoc Howdy
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    Rural rotations aren't that bad either, usually you get a little more autonomy and get to see some great clinical cases.

    I think you should go where you seem more comfortable which seems to be NSU. Both are great schools and will give you the education to become a great physician.

    :luck:
     
  16. Dr.Inviz

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    UMDNJ.

    Teaching hospital
    Cheaper tuition
    More DOs in the area/region --> better hook-ups
    More residency opportunities in allo and osteo programs
    IF you live there: close to home
     
  17. mdoclau

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    Why is being close to home so important, I've been close to home for 22 years
     
  18. Kuba

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    i think it wildly varies depending on personality type. Most premed type-As prefer to stay close to home I think. For me, it doesn't matter much. I like going away and a little sense of adventure.
     
  19. Vix206

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    touche. some of those (including myself) who are saying they want to be close to home for med school is because they have NOT been close to home for 4 years in college. so, i understand your desire to go away from home then.
     
  20. mdoclau

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    Well, I thank-you all for your input, but I guess I need to spend some time on this, I am so confuseddddddddd
     
  21. Orthodoc40

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    Just thought of a couple other little points to add in.

    UMDNJ does block exams :thumbdown: - don't know what Nova does.
    Nova people seem really happier & more cohesive (but SDN is a small sampling).

    About this rural thing - What's 3 months out of your life, in the grand scheme of things, really? Not that much, and it could be invaluable experience - who knows.

    Basically, I agree w/ msh above.
     
  22. Kuba

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    Nova basically does one major exam a week throughout the semester
     
  23. Dr.Inviz

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    NSU tends to have their exams pretty close to every Monday.
    NSU pre-meds are pretty cohesive for the upcoming class, I am not sure if this is seen in the med students themselves. Most tend to whine about the administration.
     
  24. Orthodoc40

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    Doesn't every student at every school whine about the administration??!! :laugh:
     
  25. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    Just one note -- it seems like lots of NSU students who post here dislike the admin, including the dean. You might want to search the osteo board for opinions. It seems like maybe they do a good job of seeming cool during the interview but aren't so great once you're there. I don't go there, though, so I don't know.

    Personally, I'd go to SOM -- cheaper, more residencies, better reputation. Hey, and block exams are a big plus, imo. :) It gives me many blissful weeks of exam-free time. Sure, you have to study, but imo it's less stressful than taking a test once a week of whatever.
     
  26. mdoclau

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    well I just had to pay my 1250 to nova but I'm still not sure what to do
     
  27. Orthodoc40

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    :laugh: I'm with ya. ('cept for me it's UMDNJ & DMU.) I really thought choosing would be EASY! :oops:

    It seems like you are just much more excited about Nova, but feel like you should be more excited about UMDNJ - is that the case?

    There was a thread a long time ago about "What does UMDNJ have to offer" or something like that - I can't seem to get it in a search.....After how many hours....

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=332816
     
  28. Dr.Inviz

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    UMDNJ>DMU --> rotations and tuition.
     
  29. Orthodoc40

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    Eh - rotations at DMU are better than you might think, the only down side is that you have a good chance of moving around, and maybe a LOT of that. DMU also has 40 weeks of general electives - hard to beat that when you want to either spend time at hospitals you may want to do residency at, or want to explore different areas of medicine that less elective time (12-16 weeks) doesn't allow for. This probably has a lot to do with DMU matching people into more specialties overall, too - which is currently important to me.

    But yah, there IS that tuition thing...

    Anyway - the OP has a less clear cut choice, I think.
     
  30. DOctorJay

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    ummm, you're kidding right, block exams are fabulous. we had like a whole week dedicated to exams so you could use that week to study for tests alone, no attending classes to muck up your studies.

    I'd much rather take a week of block than waste every single weekend studying for monday exams.
     
  31. Doctor Bagel

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    Are you sure you're not channeling your own lack of enthusiasm about UMDNJ into this? Honestly, you always seem really, really unexcited about that school. I think if you look back and read all your posts on UMDNJ, you'd see that it's pretty clear you shouldn't go there because you're not going to be happy.

    Editing to add that I don't want to imply that it's bad to not be excited about a school. If it doesn't fit, it doesn't fit. It just seems obvious to me that you've already made your decision about where you'd rather be next year.

    Also, UMDNJ is a really nice place with consistently happy students (well at least on sdn :) ) -- you can't say the same thing from reading NSU's feedback here. It's just weird that so few people have come forward in this thread with nice things to say about it.
     
  32. MikeyLu2010

    MikeyLu2010 UT Longhorns Alumni
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    i would stay out of things u know nothing of..
     
  33. Darch

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    I couldnt agree with you more doctor bagel. Ortho, you havent said anything really positive about UMDNJ in months...why are you still holding on to a spot? go to DMU where you will clearly be happier and give one of the waitlisters a chance! No offense but I would rather be surrounded by classmates who love UMDNJ as much as I do than by people who may still be doubting/regretting their decision at our white coat ceremony...
     
  34. Orthodoc40

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    Okay - good to know. Block exams just kind of scared me that I will learn everything for the tests, then forget everything when the boards come around, that's all.

    But I was just pointing it out for the OP as another thing that I've seen people comparing when trying to choose schools.

    Well, I WAS trying to give the OP some honest reflection from their posts. He/She did say they were leaning toward NSU, didn't they?!

    And honestly, from the Class of 2011 thread, I've really gotten the impression that it isn't a very happy or cohesive bunch at all. Whereas the Class of 2011 Nova thread seems like an incredibly happy bunch if you look through them both. I DO agree with you that for current students, roles seem reversed.

    So would I - and that's just it. Like I said above, I don't see much happy enthusiasm for the Class of 2011 at all on SDN. Maybe I would feel more excited about it if there was.

    I don't want to hijack the thread at all, guys. I thought I was giving the OP some helpful things to consider, but if I didn't then I will just stop.

    The way I have been trying to look at my choices is to find the worst things about each school and ask about them, and then see if I can live with that if I go there. The best things about schools don't need asking about. It's the worst things that I want to be ready for, that's all. (I had just as many negative posts about DMU earlier on, if you want to check into that.) Sorry if I've been posting too much negative stuff. I can see that it could give the impression you got.
     
  35. Tones24

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    Not picking on you OrthoDoc - but you have to admit, judging how "happy" or "cohesive" a group of people are by a message board is somewhat blasphemous...
     
  36. Orthodoc40

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    It's true. I agree! But someone else had brought it up.

    Look I'm sorry if I've only posted negative things about UMDNJ lately - but if I didn't really like the school a lot, my decision would have been easy!!!

    So, OP - one of the things that I actually really like about UMDNJ, which is a small thing, but different to a lot of places, is that they start anatomy in 2nd semester. I like it because it seems like it can take a while to adjust to the work load of medical school, and anatomy right off the bat doesn't seem to help people with that. Maybe the other classes you have instead of anatomy make it just as hard, but it just seems to me like starting it after you've had time to settle in is a really good thing!
     
  37. Darch

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    Ortho, I apologize for not posting more on SDN about how happy I am about being a part of the class of 2011. Honestly, I try not to spend too much time on here because it sucks me in and I personally like to find better things to do with my time. (that is not intended to offend ANYONE...just my personal choice...)

    I am sooo happy that I will be at UMDNJ next year and to the OP, here are some reasons that I chose umdnj over some other schools (in no particular order):

    -location (close to friends and fam)
    -the students. I have visited umdnj 4 times and I have yet to talk to an unhappy student...and most importantly, everyone seemed geniune! I think that sometimes some schools put on a show at open houses and I didn't feel that at all at umdnj. It seemed that the students all had a sort of "we are really happy here and this is who we are...if you like it great...if not, that's cool too" attitude.
    -research opportunities
    -standardized patient lab, decent facilities
    -hospital
    -and of course, cheap tuition

    :thumbup: I completely agree. Just because we aren't obsessively posting on SDN doesn't mean that we aren't excited nor does it mean that we won't be an amazing class that gets along great when we arrive in august....

    I don't mean to pick on you either Ortho, I just wish that you would believe in your future classmates a little more!
     
  38. LiLLaur3

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    Hey all! I think UMDNJ is a GREAT school and I am really jealous all of you are in! I have an interview there THIS thursday. Can you give me some pointers? Thank you sooo much!
     
  39. mdoclau

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    Ortho I completely understand where you are coming from, I really appreciate your comments and keep them coming. I still haven't decided yet and I am sorry to say or to be holding a spot but this is my life and I want to be sure I am going to be happy with my decision.
     
  40. MaximusD

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    Can you really blame Ortho?

    I can't remember ever talking to someone who was EXCITED about moving INTO Jersey... usually the other way around. :smuggrin: :cool:

    JK, of course... I might choose UMDNJ-SOM for its tuition alone. As far as I'm concerned 40-50k of less debt plus 20k of interest is worth being a ::cringe:: Jersey guy.

    I suggest coming across the bridge to PCOM :)
     
  41. Nate

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    It's been a while since I have helped anyone out on here so here goes:

    I had to make this decision as I was accepted to both; here were my points (I actually still have the spread sheet I made comparing the schools I was deciding between) then and some from retrospect as I finish up my basic science years here


    1) tuition, sorry, any way you slice 40,000 dollars more in tuition over 4 years it is a lot of money

    2) Anatomy students per cadaver- people seem to play down the importance of "cutting through fat" on this message board but I loved every moment of anatomy and feel like the material was so well taught here. We had a team of 4, self selected, and it was just right, NSU has 10 per cadaver and you don't even get to do every dissection, unless this has changed – felt kind of cheapened there

    3) desk-top curriculum- I liked the small class atmosphere and the small group type cases that are built into the curriculum. All med schools will teach you the basic sciences and most of it, to be honest, is done on your own. I just feel that the case studies and small groups were a great way to learn in retrospect

    4) Clinical curriculum- everyone I spoke to told me that this was the most important factor in choosing a medical school besides cost and at the time I didn't know how to look at it or what questions to ask. I haven't started rotations yet, I start in three months, but so far the experiences I have had with our teaching hospitals and the attendings has been awesome. My preceptors and the surgeon I shadow love to teach and go out of their way to teach the students. We do little things here and there in the basic science years at the hospitals and from that limited experience I am very happy with it

    5) I felt the block style exams was a great thing, I wish they had that in second year but they don't because the curriculum is just too massive second year. It was very helpful getting adjusted to med school to have everything just stop for a week to prepare and take exams. Think about it

    6) attendance- we have an "attendance policy" here and certain classes are "mandatory" with a grade component ie. OMM, but for the most part it is very laid back and you can choose what classes you need to attend if you are more efficient as a self learner. I couldn't stomach being babysat and having to "swipe in" to every single class, this goes for the dress code too, what does being comfortable in a lecture hall have to do with professionalism, I don't even need to be told to wear a shirt and tie when seeing patients or clinicians, I just do it. The dress code at NSU did make me laugh though, I love how everyone is color coded except the med students. You can tell who is a dental student, nursing student etc by the color of the scrubs, now that is funny stuff

    7) climate- I prefer seasons, you can't have that first breath of spring unless you have a winter. I lived in Florida before and all that heat and humidity just wasn't my favorite thing

    8) surround area- I gave both school's bad grades for this, too much traffic and not enough of the things I like to do in reasonable distance. The 10 lane highway in front of NSU was ridiculous!

    9) mentoring, we are paired up with a big brother/sister here who passes down wisdom and more importantly old exams/notes. NSU had clubs selling that stuff or something.

    10) housing is cheaper in south jersey from what I saw, whoda thunk it

    11) gut- I just felt like the school was family and everyone there seemed confident. I liked NSU and the fountains and marble pillars drew me in for sure, it is beautiful, and in the end I would have been happy there I am sure but UMDNJ just had every category I looked at locked down. It was a no-brainer in the end.

    12) being close to family is important in med school, everyone needs some help now and again.

    I am going to add something now in retrospect - many of the residency programs here and at PCOM for example, but I am sure anywhere, like to take their own. The clinicians and residency directors teach us in the classroom, hospital, and through the interest clubs to the point they know you well. In the end they will take their own graduate over anywhere else. I would not go to a medical school that didn't have its own residency program attached unless I had no other choice. Sure, you may have no clue what you want to go in to and you may want to move later for residency but having that advantage off the bat is sure nice.

    I also wanted to add in something about match lists. We have small classes so less people and less chances for competitive specialties any given year. It is also interest dependant, for example my class seems to have 4 or 5 people interested in surgery but next years class, the first years, have so many more people interested in surgery. So any given year a match list can look different. I know for a fact that if I want to be a neurosurgeon no one is going to hand it to me and no school will make my dream come true, I will have to work hard myself to make it happen so take those match lists for what they are worth. Sure we can get people into Hopkins and anywhere else, but it depends on each individualÂ’s dream and willingness to work that makes it happen, UMDNJ sure does have the resources you need to get there

    I hope this helps you some; good luck wherever you choose and remember this is my personal criteria and opinion so if I have one thing to suggest, it is to make a spread sheet with criteria on one side and all the schools you can go to on the top (congratulations by the way for having a choice) and fill it in highlighting which school wins in each row. It helps to see the big picture

    ~Nate
     
  42. Kuba

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    Nate makes some great points. However, if you count the tuition + fees, the cost difference is a little less that 6,000 a year, not 10,000.
     
  43. Nate

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    Maybe something changed, my points are from 3 years ago
    Well, if you want to get technical and add in interest, and the rolled over interest since most people don't pay off interest during school, and then the rolled over rolled over interest during residency if you still don't pay interest, it is much much more than 40k. To be safe you can also add in the cost of living which was a couple more hundred a month in Ft. Lauderdale when I made calculations.
     
  44. Kuba

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Oh, its definitely much better financially to go to UMDNJ. I was just saying that because UMDNJ sort of hides the 4k in fees seperate from tuition. But it is better financially to go to UMDNJ especially because you limit the private loans as opposed to the stafford loans that do not accrue interest while in school.
     
  45. Nate

    Nate Missing
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    next year's budget for me includes :
    Fees Only $2,666.00


    not 4k but still a good amount, this includes health insurance though which is a good chunk of it (if you're still covered by parents this fee can be dropped and in NJ you can be covered well in to your 20s). I am pretty sure all schools have the fees
     
  46. Orthodoc40

    10+ Year Member

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    State schools ALWAYS hide their costs in "FEES"!

    Anyway - Sorry - I just feel like a lot of people miss this point about private loans for school. You never have to borrow the maximum that the school budgets for!! Nova's budget is huge. From what HOD has told me, it is way more than a single student needs to live on for a year. Whereas, UMDNJ has a tighter budget, at least from looking at it, there isn't much wiggle room.

    So, someone could probably just borrow a lot less and survive at Nova (from the sounds of it, again, I haven't seen it). There's a good portion of your finanical difference right there.

    Then again, you could borrow the max, and not be stressed out on how you're going to make ends meet while you're trying to study & do well. It's up to you. So, like you were saying, Kuba, there's more to the financial thing than simply tuition differences.

    (Now I am re-reading to see if I said anything really negative about UMDNJ...... nope, I don't think so....phew!)
     
  47. Tones24

    Tones24 Junior Member
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    Bravo Orthodoc. We're making progress:laugh:
     
  48. Orthodoc40

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    :laugh:

    Phew!
     
  49. Darch

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    :thumbup: :) nice work ortho!
     
  50. Orthodoc40

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    :D I'm all :love: for UMDNJ!! :laugh:

    Seriously - last thing I want is for people to think I'll be this black cloud in the corner somewhere. Cause that ain't gonna happen, whereEVER I land up!
     
  51. mjd6185

    mjd6185 New Member

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    To the OP,

    The 30th is rapidly approaching, are you definitely going to NOVA or still undecided?
     

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